Engaging Adolescent Patients, Part 2: Questions to ask

Tess Cox, MHSC, PA-C

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Logan Lutton
Logan Lutton

Associate Editor, Medical Economics and Physician's Practice

Three questions to explore the lifestyles of teenagers

Over the past 20 years, I have also developed three questions to explore the lifestyles of teenagers and open the door for deeper conversations about life issues:

Engaging Adolescent Patients: Questions to ask

I conclude with a smiling reminder that they won’t just wake up one day and “wham!” be that person with the life they’re dreaming of. The patient must create that person with every little decision and choice they make starting right then. (Ask them to look at the clock and note the time and date!).The choices the patient makes, who the patient allows to influence and control them, and staying true to their vision of their future self helps create that person.

I assure them that it’s sometimes difficult, but if they ask themselves the three questions: “Who are my role models? Who am I giving control over my life? What kind of person do I want to be?” when they are making future decisions and choices, it will help keep them on track to reach their goals and avoid difficult consequences over time. Parents are grateful for this supportive approach, and teens will often take it to heart. You might change a life.